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Workers in Kuwait optimistic of pay raises in 2018
July 28, 2018, 3:45 pm

A new survey conducted among working men and women in the region shows that over half (55%) of the respondents in Kuwait expect a raise in 2018, while 12 percent said it would remain the same as last year. 

The survey, administered by, a premier job site, and YouGov, a global pioneer in online market research, and conducted across the Middle-East and North Africa (MENA) region, aimed to gauge employee satisfaction with their current salaries and the other variable components that contribute to it. The survey also aimed to explore the drivers of loyalty towards employers and the significance of salary in career satisfaction and general wellbeing.

In terms of salary, over a third (36%) of Kuwait respondents claim that their current salary package consists of basic salary with benefits, while close to half (45%) claim that it consists of only basic salary, and 18 percent said they receive a basic salary as well as a commission and benefits.

When it came to the preferred pay structure, 56 percent of Kuwait respondents said they prefer a ‘100 percent fixed pay structure’, a third (33%) said they prefer a ‘partially fixed pay structure with a variable pay for commissions and incentives, while one in 10 (12%) said they preferred a ‘100 percent variable’ pay structure.

Among the various benefits employees in Kuwait receive are personal medical insurance (27%), personal annual air ticket (24%), transportation allowance (21%), bonus (20%), and housing allowance (18%). As for end of service benefits, 61 percent of respondents say their company presently offers end-of-service gratuity, 5 percent receive pension on retirement, and 9 percent receive other forms of benefits.

Though over a third (36%) of respondents received a salary raise in 2017, nonetheless 16 percent of respondents expected a raise of 1 to 5 percent this year as well. Among respondents who believe salaries in Kuwait are increasing, over a third (34%) attribute it to inflation and a rise in the cost of living, another third (31%) believe salaries are increasing as a result of good corporate performance and increased profitability, 25 percent say it is caused by intense competition for attracting and retaining talent, while 20 percent believe it is due to growth in opportunities and economic growth in their country of residence. 

More than two thirds (68%) of respondents believe their cost of living increased by up to 30 percent in 2017, while 20 percent believe it has increased by more than 30 percent, 6 percent believe it decreased or remained the same. When asked about the components of living expenses which increased in cost in 2017, food and beverage (78%) and rent (65%) emerged as the top two by a large margin. A majority (74%) anticipated a further increase in the cost of living in 2018.

In terms of monthly expenses, respondents from Kuwait said they spend the most on rent (54%) food and dining out (14%), and education, schooling, and books for their children (11%).

That said, 63 percent of respondents still manage to save a portion of their monthly income, just over half (56%) of Kuwait respondents repatriate some portion of their salary to their home country, and 18 percent make regular financial investments. 

In terms of quality of life, one in two (47%) respondents from Kuwait believe they are better off than other people of a similar generation in their country of residence, another three in ten (29%) believe they are about the same, and only 19 percent believe they are worse off.

When asked about their career plans in the next twelve months, over half (56%) of Kuwait respondents said they will look for a better job in the same industry, and two in five (38%) said they plan to look for a better job in a different industry. Among those surveyed, fewer than half (45%) of all respondents from Kuwait have been working in their current industry for up to six years, with almost a third (31%) having worked in their industry for more than 10 years.

When it came to specific employers, three quarters (77%) of respondents have been working with their current employer for six years or less, with 46 percent having worked for their employer for less than three years. Less than one in ten (8%) have worked with their current employer for more than 10 years.

Data for the 2018 Middle East and North Africa Salaries survey was collected online from March to May 2018. Results are based on a sample of 4,194 respondents from the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, as well as from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia.

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